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General Motors, Ford to jointly develop new automatic transmissions

ABR Staff Writer Published 15 April 2013

US automakers General Motors (GM) and Ford Motor have signed an agreement to jointly develop a new line of 9- and 10-speed automatic transmissions for their new cars and trucks to enhance vehicle performance as well as fuel economy.

Under the agreement, both the companies will separately develop, engineer, test, validate and deliver new transmissions that will be built in both front- and rear-wheel drive variants.

GM Ford Transmission

GM global transmission engineering vice president Jim Lanzon said engineering teams from GM and Ford have already started initial design work on these new transmissions.

"We expect these new transmissions to raise the standard of technology, performance and quality for our customers while helping drive fuel economy improvements into both companies' future product portfolios," Lanzon said.

The new agreement marks the third time in the last decade that the two companies have partnered on transmissions and delivered about eight million 6-speed front-wheel drive transmissions globally.

Ford uses the jointly developed 6-speed transmissions in its Fusion family sedan, the Edge crossover and the Escape and Explorer SUVs, while GM deploys them in its vehicles including the Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Traverse, Chevrolet Equinox and Chevrolet Cruze.

Ford Transmission & Driveline Component & Pre-Program Engineering chief engineer Craig Renneker said the collaboration is aimed at keeping hardware identical in the Ford and GM transmissions.

"This will maximize parts commonality and give both companies economy of scale," Renneker said.

"However, we will each use our own control software to ensure that each transmission is carefully matched to the individual brand-specific vehicle DNA for each company."

According to the automakers, the collaboration would also allow efficient usage of the available respective manpower resources to develop additional future advanced transmissions.